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Special Report on Selected Side Events at the  WSSD
Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 August - 4  September 2002
published by IISD, the International Institute for Sustainable  Development in cooperation with UNDP








Events convened on Wednesday, 04 September 2002

Nane Annan notes that washing hands can reduce the rate of death by diarrhoea by one third.

Women and water, sanitation and hygiene for all
Presented by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Eirah Gorre-Dale, WSSCC, stated that the event focused on women's role as care givers, providers, educators, and managers of safe water, sanitation and hygiene. She said that the WSSCC aims to accelerate the progress towards safe water, hygiene, and sanitation for all, by stimulating actions by governments, UN agencies, NGOs, and the private sector. She introduced the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for all (WASH) campaign.

Richard Jolly, WSSCC, called for a shift from global focus to national implementation, and stressed that clean water is necessary to protect human health and the environment.

Nane Annan stressed that access to water and sanitation is a community concern, especially for children and women. Noting that hygiene can reduce water related diseases by 33%, she highlighted the need for high-level political commitment and community ownership and management.

Anne Perterson, US Agency for International Development, stressed the central role of women in African families. She noted the US' commitment to the WASH campaign.

Sonjica Buyelwa, South Africa, expressed concern over the controversy related to access to water during the WSSD. Noting that seven million people in South Africa do not have adequate access to sanitation, she emphasized that access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene is a human right. She stressed that the WASH campaign in South Africa is based on a multistakeholder partnership, and called for improvement of women's technical education and capacity to participate in the decision-making processes related to water.  

Gugu Moloi, Umgeni, stressed the need for women's involvement in: service delivery mechanisms; management; shaping future water policies and legislation; and identifying appropriate technologies. Describing UMGENI's ongoing activities, she called for job creation at the local level, education, activism, and partnerships.

Margot Wallström, European Commissioner for the Environment, introduced an EU-initiated partnership aimed at improving access to water and sanitation.

Maria Mutagamba, Ugandan Minister of State for Water, introduced Uganda's WASH activities, and stressed the need for participation of women in decision-making at the local level.

Kul Gautaum, UNICEF, highlighted the link between lack of access to water and poverty. He stressed the role of women and girls in breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty, and noted the role of schools and education.

Ronnie Kasrils, South African Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, explained the need to move from words to action, and identified ways of motivating people. He emphasized the importance of developing networks for awareness raising.

Discussions: Participants discussed, inter alia: concerns over the privatization of water utilities; access to water in urban areas; joining the WASH campaign; and the need for a shift from defence priorities to providing basic utilities.

More information:

Eirah Gorre-Dale < >
Richard Jolly < >
Anne Peterson < >
Gugu Moloi < >

Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, notes that achieving sustainable development requires multi-stakeholder partnerships. 

Jan McAlpine, US

Congo Basin Forest Partnership
Presented by the US government

Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, noted the importance of tropical forests and their high rate of destruction. He stated that the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) will: promote sustainable use of forest resources; create and manage protected forest areas; combat illegal logging and other unsustainable activities; and promote sustainable livelihoods of the peoples in the region. Powell emphasized the participation of international organizations and of the six Congo Basin governments in the initiative, and stressed the importance of partnership and cooperation in promoting sustainable development in the Congo Basin.

Denis Sassou-Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo, underscored the need for achieving sustainable development in the Congo Basin, and highlighted the political commitment expressed in the declaration of the Yaoundé Forest Summit. He stressed the importance of stakeholder involvement in the CBFP, and underscored the necessity of regional and international cooperation.

Poul Nielson, EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Assistance, stated that the CBFP should aim at improving governance and reducing poverty in the region. He suggested that the Partnership build on the results of the Yaoundé Forest Summit, and be closely linked with Type I outcomes of the WSSD. Nielson called for a global action plan on forest law enforcement, governance and trade, and highlighted the need to move from forest monitoring to policing.

Ronnie Kasrils, South African Minister for Water Affairs and Forestry, noted South Africa's commitment to the Partnership, and highlighted the importance of conserving the Congo Basin forests.

Russell Mittermeier, Conservation International, stressed the importance of the Congo Basin for biodiversity, particularly for great apes. He stressed that the Partnership should conserve biological and cultural diversity, and underscored the need to fight commercial bushmeat hunting. He announced that Conservation International, the Wildlife Conservation Society and WWF would support the partnership with USD 37 million.

More information: ns

Jan McAlpine, US < >
Poul Nielson < >
Russell Mittermeier < >

Kader Asmal, South African Minister of Education (left)

New partnerships, institutions and networks of the future
Presented by IUCN

Kader Asmal, South African Minister of Education, welcomed the WSSD's philosophical and political will to improve partnerships and stressed that partnership are an invitation for dialogue and solidarity, and a basis for collecting world-wide knowledge on practical experience. Asmal identified the importance of funding systems that do not impose conditions on recipient countries as central for successful partnerships

Andrew Hewett, Oxfam, highlighted that Oxfam's activities are built on promoting partnerships at all levels. He recommended that Type II Partnerships: have a clear link with Type I commitments; fit into a regulatory framework; and supplement public activities. He stressed the importance of monitoring and reporting systems for promoting accountability and transparency in Type II Partnerships, and highlighted the need to incorporate equity and increase participation in partnerships.

Simon Upton, OECD, said the quality of multi-stakeholders' participation must improve. He stressed the need for implementing WSSD outcomes, and the importance of avoiding domination of one or few countries in multilateral funding processes.

Shahida Jamil, Pakistani Minister for Environment, Local Government, and Rural Development, said that Pakistan supports partnerships and has promoted them during the WSSD process. She noted that partnerships should be practical, relevant and effective.

José María Figueres, World Economic Forum (WEF), noted that globalization results in economic and political exclusion within and between countries and recommended that the Breton Woods institutions be reformed in order to fulfill WSSD goals. Figueres emphasized the need for regulatory frameworks for global markets, and noted the danger of a "market dictatorship" over democracy. He explained that WEF focuses on fostering partnerships on economics, human development and environment.

More information:

Simon Upton < >
José María Figueres < >

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) on the side is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Editor of ENB on the side is Dagmar Lohan <>. This issue has been written by Karen Alvarenga de Oliveira <>, Jacob Andersen <>, Tamilla Held <>, Dagmar Lohan <> and Charlotte Salpin <>. The Digital Editors are David Fernau <>, Andrei Henry <>, Leila Mead <>, Prisna Nuengsigkapian <> and Diego Noguera <>. Funding for publication of ENB on the side at WSSD is provided by UNDP. The opinions expressed in ENB on the side are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and funders. Excerpts from ENB on the side may be used in non-commercial publications only and only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Managing Editor at <>. Electronic versions of issues of ENB on the side from WSSD can be found on the Linkages website at

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